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Death By Water (Phryne Fisher #15)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  2,241 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
The nice men at P & O are worried. A succession of jewelry thefts from the first-class passengers is hardly the best advertisement for their cruises. Phryne Fisher, with her Lulu bob, green eyes, cupid's bow lips, and sense of the ends justifying the means, is just the person to mingle seamlessly with the upper classes and take on a case of theft on the high seas on a ...more
ebook, 268 pages
Published February 2012 by Poisoned Pen Presss (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 25, 2015 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, Death By Water is a satisfying one, for me. For all that I love the extended family that Phryne has made, it’s also interesting to go off and meet other characters, and visit some other environs. Death By Water takes us on a cruise and has a glimpse into Maori culture, and though I’m no expert, it seems respectful and interesting. Given the setting, the Maori village and so on is a bit like sightseeing, and the non-Maori white professor who has been practically adopted by the Maoris seems li ...more
This is definitely one of the weaker installments with the series. I got the sense early on that Greenwood was trying for a sort of Murder on the Orient Express solution, but what we ended up with managed to be anticlimactic and confusing rather than satisfyingly clever. There are also some racial issues here which go beyond a realistic evocation of the kind of racial attitudes which a group of upper class white people were likely to hold in the Australia and New Zealand of the 1920s. There are ...more
Jul 20, 2011 菁华 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, australian
I haven't read any of the Phryne Fisher series for a few years but I remembered it really fondly. I mean, it's fluff but good fluff - sweet, sassy crime fiction set in Melbourne in the 1920s, vaguely liberal-feminist and pro-unions. But fuck this book has a totally ridiculous plot, the worst resolution ever and heaps of dumb racist white people. And it's not even set in Melbourne.

It's set on a trans-Atlantic cruise and the entire cast of characters is (a) helpful servile people of colour (b) wh
Mar 11, 2016 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phryne on board a glamorous cruise ship, jewel thefts, food, fashion, Maori. Completely awesome. I wish they'd made a tv series episode of this one, traditional country house mystery on the sea!
Chris Davis
If you are looking for a murder mystery, move along.

However, if you're looking for a book filled with nautical trivia and lectures on the Maori culture imparted while rich people sit around a table and eat really well described food, then this is the book for you.

This was by far the worst of the Phryne Fisher books, and that takes the random and vague Green Mill Mystery and rambling Raisins and Almonds into consideration.

The death in the title does not occur until approximately page 197. (Note:
Apr 15, 2017 Anna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a love/hate (or: like/dislike, as I'm not sure I'd use words as strong as love and hate) relationship with how Kerry Greenwood writes POC and how she handles issues related to race. Sometimes she does a good job, sometimes she doesn't. Sadly, "Death by Water" made me cringe more than just once. No, there's no need to make so much effort to convince everyone that the Maori are civilized but simply a bit different than us. No, you don't wear race/nationality as a costume, not even in a hist ...more
Normally I like to read books of series in sequence and this is book no. 15 in the Phryne Fisher series and I’m only up to no. 11. But when I found out there was a Phryne Fisher book set on a cruise ship going to New Zealand, just as I was doing in the second half of January, I simply had to take it along for my shipboard reading material!!

Reading it under similar circumstances to its setting certainly gave it more relevance to me, and despite the fact that Phryne was travelling in the 1920’s, i
Jan 16, 2017 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: popsugar
Number 15 in the Hon Phryne Fisher series is another wonderful read. I very much enjoy reading about Phryne and her adventures, in this time period, to be a woman meant being of marriageable and breeding fitness. Woman were seen and not heard, and it's brilliant to read about a woman that is damn hard to ignore.
Phryne and her companion Dot have escaped her noisy and full household, and are on a P&O cruise to New Zealand, on the hunt for a jewel thief. In between shipboard romances, dancing
Karen ⊰✿
I loved the setting for this one - a cruise ship
In the late 1920s with all the splendour and decadence you would imagine. The actual mystery was a little convoluted and I miss some of the strong side characters (Bert,Cess, Jack, Lin) who didn't make an appearance, but it's still an entertaining 3 star read
Aug 10, 2014 Harriet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Miss Fisher is the first I've read after enjoying the first video series (I'm still trying to get to see the second). I really enjoyed it and I think it stands a good chance of replacing Agatha Raisens as delightful fodder to clear my palate between heavier reading.
Anna Bergmark
May 14, 2017 Anna Bergmark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Foul play at sea? Evil deeds among a limited group of people aboard a ship?

It's just so SOOO old fashioned - and I love it!

A healthy and salt smelling breeze hits your nostrils as you take a stroll along the deck. At dinner there's polite conversation and sparkling evening gowns. And in a cabin not far away a fellow traveler plots to rob you, not only of your jewelry but perhaps of something far more precious than that. Like say... your life.

The atmosphere is fantastic, the fun is great and the
Feb 27, 2017 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a FUN read!
I've always loved Phryne's adventures thanks to the series being put on Netflix, and I was delighted to see that the books gave their reader the same thrilling romp that the show promised.
The details are immaculate, and the accuracy of Ms. Greenwood's portrayal of the time period is phenomenal.
May 25, 2017 Mashael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karenbike Patterson
Phryne Fisher and her companion Dot go on a cruise to New Zealand to nab a jewel thief. This mystery is one part fashion, one part cruise life- upstairs/downstairs, one part New Zealand culture and geography and one part mystery about who killed the person dressed as Death at the Masquerade Ball and who is trying to steal the big sapphire Phryne is wearing. Since I love Phryne's 1920s fashions in the TV series, I really like the clothing and since we've been to New Zealand, I really liked the ad ...more
May 24, 2017 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best in this series.
Mar 21, 2017 Mel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, read-in-2017
Phryne and Dot go on a cruise to catch a jewel thief, and end up with a murder on their hands. I really enjoyed this one, particularly the ship's cat who kept coming to visit and the little girl's teddy bear.
Mar 22, 2017 Jewels rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-owned
It really doesn't matter what setting you put her in. Phryne Fisher always wins in the end. I did love the descriptions of the ship, the food, and the islands. The intrigue was well within the boundaries of the usual delightful capers that surround our heroine. On to the next!
Feb 12, 2017 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really enjoying this series.
Mar 11, 2017 Prescott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, I'm a fan of the TV series.

I have not read any of the other books in the series.

As far as I can tell, this book was 1) written after the first couple of series had been shown on worldwide TV, so it feels like a story in the show. 2) it was never turned into an episode, so it's a fresh story of Mrs. Fisher.

Sometimes books or short stories get merged or tweaked to air on TV, but this one seems to be completely distinct. It's possible they really tweaked it and I just can't see it, but I
Mar 05, 2011 Bev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Death by Water by Kerry Greenwood is a cozy little installment of the grownup's Nancy Drew, Phryne Fisher. This mystery series is set in 1920s Australia and stars the Honorable Phryne Fisher--rich, beautiful and smart child of the Jazz Age. Like Nancy, she can keep up with the men and boys and give as good as she gets. She can handle a pistol and herself in a fight. She drives a beautiful, fast car and can fly an airplane. She swims like a fish and can dance all night. And she run circles around ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Phryne Fisher combines work with pleasure as she and Dot take to the high seas to find out who is stealing the jewels from around the first-class passengers' necks on the dance floor. Of course she is given the Imperial suite, and the cruise ship adventure is like a house-party mystery on the water. We have the meal at the captain's table, the masquerade dance, the disappearing corpse--or is it? What's upsetting the ship's doctor? And why does one passenger eat nothing but omelettes at every mea ...more
Apr 01, 2012 Kay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Phryne (rhymes with briny) Fisher is an original. She lives in Australia, but was raised in England, spent time in France and has had many and varied experiences. As a private detective in Australia, she uses all she has learned to solve mysteries. This is another series with an historical base, Australia in the mid to late 1920s, a time and place I knew nothing about. After the first 15 volume, I know a little about a lot of different subjects , thanks to Phryne. In this story, Phryne takes a j ...more
Again Kerry Greenwood has Phryne tackles a classic Golden Age Detective scenario: the locked room mystery. In this instance the case takes place on board a cruise ship sailing between Australia and New Zealand.

I found it one of the most appealing of the series with lots of period detail and an emphasis upon New Zealand and Maori culture as well as life on board the ship, the S.S. Hinemoa. Greenwood created this fictional ship as there was not much information available on the actual cruise ship
(3.5 stars)
Kerry Greenwood tries her hand at having Phryne capture a jewel thief from among a limited set of suspects on a cruise from Australia to New Zealand. This means Phryne is on her own with only her paid companion Dot to accompany her. Although Phryne cannot call upon any of her Melbourne family and friends, she soon develops an alternate set of allies on board ship, most notably the captain and crew who know she was hired to get to the bottom of the mystery, and the stewardess assigned
Nov 19, 2013 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phryne Fisher is not looking forward to Mr and Mrs Butler going away for a fortnight while she has her sister, Eliza and her partner Alice staying with her. Fearing that she will have a disorganised and noisy time of it she decides to accept a request from P&O to go on a cruise to see if she can discover who is stealing passengers' jewellery.

She takes her companion, Dot Williams with her, and looks forward to a quiet two weeks with a little light detecting on the side. When she arrives on bo
Oct 14, 2013 Marianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Death By Water is the fifteenth book in the popular Phryne Fisher series by Australian author, Kerry Greenwood. This instalment is a version of closed room mystery, with the closed room being the First Class section of the P&O liner SS Hinemoa on a voyage from Melbourne to New Zealand. Phryne accepts an invitation from P&O to help them catch a jewel thief who has managed to boldly lift diamonds, pearls and emeralds from passengers on three separate cruises, once on a crowded dance floor. ...more
Dec 04, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's always fun to revisit the world of Phryne Fisher. She is like a comforting friend to turn to when I need some on the light side to read. She is a friend I would like to have in real life, although some of my friends do incorporate some of her positive traits. I like Phryne Fisher as a character because she is an independent woman ahead of the time she lives in. She thinks for herself, and does what makes her happy, no matter what convention dictates, and no matter how people look at her. He ...more
BOTTOM LINE: #15 Phryne Fisher, Investigator, 1928 Melbourne & S.S. Hinemoa; cosy PI with bite. Asked to investigate the theft of jewels from a luxury cruise line, Phryne finds herself amongst some really strange birds when she sails on their next trip around Australia and New Zealand. Another satisfying trip with Phryne into her ultra-chic world; still one of my favorite series after fifteen entries - it hasn’t disappointed me yet.

At first I thought this story was only fair (for this usual
Sherry Chandler
The Honorable Miss Phryne Fisher is invincible, insatiable, and incredible.

She's also a clothes horse.

She associates with Wobblies, prostitutes, and policemen as well as the aristocracy in 1920s Melbourne.

She drives a Hispano-Suiza and flies a de Havilland Moth.

Her most favored lover is a suave Chinese clan leader.

She lives life with panache. With, in fact, a different panache for every occasion. She wears them in her straight black hair.

Kerry Greenwood is akin to Terry Pratchett in her wit, tho
Mar 12, 2010 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In "Death by Water" Phryne is driven to work as an investigator on a cruise ship by the level of domestic turmoil at her home. Her role onboard is to find the jewel thief who has been at work on the ship over several recent cruises, as the shipping line is keen to save their reputation.

Again, Phryne is self assured, fabulously fashionable, confident and capable of holding her own against some very nasty characters.

The descriptions of the interior of the ship were beautiful and evocative and the
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Madison Mega-Mara...: "Death by Water" (Phryne Fisher) by Kerry Greenwood 1 2 Jul 20, 2013 07:28AM  
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Kerry Greenwood was born in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray and after wandering far and wide, she returned to live there. She has a degree in English and Law from Melbourne University and was admitted to the legal profession on the 1st April 1982, a day which she finds both soothing and significant.

Kerry has written twenty novels, a number of plays, including The Troubadours with Stephen D'Arcy,
More about Kerry Greenwood...

Other Books in the Series

Phryne Fisher (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher, #1)
  • Flying Too High (Phryne Fisher, #2)
  • Murder on the Ballarat Train (Phryne Fisher, #3)
  • Death at Victoria Dock (Phryne Fisher, #4)
  • The Green Mill Murder (Phryne Fisher, #5)
  • Blood and Circuses (Phryne Fisher, #6)
  • Ruddy Gore (Phryne Fisher, #7)
  • Urn Burial (Phryne Fisher, #8)
  • Raisins and Almonds (Phryne Fisher, #9)
  • Death Before Wicket (Phryne Fisher, #10)

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